Navy Announces Unmanned Flight On Biofuel

Cindy Zimmerman

The Navy has reached a milestone in the quest to gain energy independence with the first unmanned biofueled flight of an MQ-8B Fire Scout at Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Md. The unmanned helicopter was fueled with a combination of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina.

The MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle provides critical situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and targeting data to the forward deployed warfighter. Fire Scout is designed to operate from all air capable ships and is currently providing ISR support during its first-land based deployment in U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Fire Scout is the seventh aircraft to demonstrate the versatility of biofuel through its use in all facets of naval aviation. The completion of aircraft biofuel testing at Pax River is another example of the Navy’s determination in achieving its goal of launching the “Great Green Fleet.”

Watch the YouTube video of the successful biofueled UAV flight here:

advanced biofuels, Government